Monday, March 20, 2017

Daddy's Girl
I have always been a "daddy's girl", even when I hated and despised my dad for what he did to me and to our family. (That bitterness and anger was taken care of a long time ago and you can read about it in one of my earlier postings.)
One of the earliest photos I have is of me in the arms of my father. He was a big and strong man who was also meek and quiet. I would love to sit next to him at church and trace the tattoos on his arms with my little fingers. When I tired of doing that, he would allow me to cuddle up next to his side under those same strong arms. There I would be at peace while I listened to the preaching.
I can only remember one time when my dad "disciplined" me and it came as a total shock. I won't go into details. Suffice to say, it worked! There was another time when he was suppose to spank me when I was around nine years old and had been a super brat and mouthed off to my mom. Mom demanded that Dad take care of the situation. Having never been punished by my dad, I was a bit scared and did not know what to expect. He took me to my room and sat with me on the bed. He told me that he hated physical punishment and would never spank me. But to appease my mom, we had to pretend. So, instead of swatting my behind, my dad "spanked" the bed while I stood up and "cried". (I think that is when I learned to love acting and found I was really good at fake crying.) Now that Mom is in heaven, this is the first time she has probably learned about this story of my dad and I.
My dad is now 91 years old and is in failing health. I know it won't be long until he joins his bride of 69 years. I guess that is why I am thinking so much about him today.
He had his flaws and wasn't the best dad, but he was loyal and faithful. He was also stubborn and proud. I remember one time having an argument with him about something that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, but he stuck to his belief and would not be swayed. The very next day when I had proof in hand that he had been wrong, he denied that he had ever held the opposing belief. All I could do was shut my mouth, shake my head, and walk away.
My dad taught me to be independent by allowing me to make mistakes and learn from them. He taught me to be strong in my beliefs. He taught me to love math and to be able to apply it to every day life. He showed me how to be patient and to endure strife...and to keep your mouth shut when necessary. He taught me faithfulness to God, church, family, nation, and community. He taught me how to drive a stick-shift and had me help him rebuild the engine on my car when "someone" (not me) drove it without my permission and without oil and caused the engine to freeze up. I will never forget putting the rings on the pistons and trying to get the whole thing back into the cylinder.
My dad was in WWII and has only recently shared his memories of that time. He was on an LST that took part in D-Day, the invasion of southern France, and north Africa. The Navy then transferred him to an LSM that took him to Japan for the invasion. He was in Tokyo Bay for the signing of surrender, then stayed behind to help with the clean-up. I know that he still has memories buried deep down inside that he won't remember and will never share. That's okay! I am proud of my dad.
It is hard to see my dad as he slowly declines. I remember the first time I hugged him after he had his heart attack and bypass surgery. No longer did I feel the strong shoulder muscles that always assured me that Daddy would protect me. Over the years those muscles, as well as all the others, have gotten weaker and smaller and his stature has shrunk to my height. At this point, he can no longer stand on his own nor take care of himself. About all he likes to do anymore is sleep for hours on end. But inside, he is still my strong and loving dad. And even though some of the memories still hurt, I will cherish the life I had with my daddy.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

It has been a long time since I did any blogging. Lately, I have been praying for God to show me how He wants to use me since I can no longer do most of the things I used to do. Teaching Sunday School, leading Ladies' ministries, Nursery worker, Kitchen leader, Life Group Co-coach, Church cleaning and yard work, Drama leader, Prayer partner...all those things had to be laid aside when the Lord allowed me to have fibromyalgia. I knew that I could always pray, which I do always, but I also knew that I could do more. My heart's desire is to serve the Lord every minute of every hour of every day.
Recently, the Holy Spirit has been gently speaking to me that I could get back to blogging. So, here I am, and Lord willing, He will use me to be a blessing to you. My prayer is that those who read my blogs will increase in number and in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. May God use this site for His glory and your good.
So, for this blog I would like to share with you a dream that I had a couple of days ago.
In my dream I was a warrior general, like John of Arc, who was leading my city army into a battle to defend our city from the coming enemy. The location was somewhere in Israel at a city of only three thousand and the setting was around 2500 years ago. We had heard from reliable sources that a huge army was coming to take our city because we would be an easy target and because they hated our good and godly reputation.
My army and I were clad in our tunics, cloaks, and coats. Our only weapons were our tools of farming and shepherding. But we loved and served the Lord God and knew that whatever happened He was on our side.
Our troops numbering less than a thousand were stationed all around the small city wall, prepared to defend unto our death. As we stood in the morning sun, the enemy army approached. They were covered in black armor from head to toe and were mounted on black horses of war. Spears and swords glittered in the morning light. Fear touched our brains, but I yelled words of encouragement.
The army responded with their own yelling of "Charge" as they came rushing towards us. However, as they reached us, they fell from their horses and begged for mercy. Their spears and swords were only made of plastic and their horses were inflated pool toys.
As the enemy lay quivering they pleaded for us to just let them into the city where they could get food and drink and rest. They promised that they would leave within a week or two or a month. At first I looked upon them with pity as my troops wondered what we should do. It was then I remembered how Satan comes like a roaring lion, but also as a subtle serpent. With firm resolve, I commanded our army to dispense of the enemy at once and not allow even one of them to step one foot within the city gates.
Sometimes the enemy attacks quickly and strongly, and it overwhelms us. But much of the time Satan comes as an angel of light and we welcome him into our life. We must be on our guard at all times and always seek the advice of God and His Word.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

By Alice Jensen, Feb. 2015 
WARNING: This blog contains information that you may not wish to read nor wish to have others read. I believe that this story needs to be told and pray that it will be an encouragement to others who have gone through the same experience or care for someone who has. You may comment, but no negativity, please. You do not know how emotionally hard it has been for me to finally write this story.

Introduction: During the month of January 2015 the Lord allowed my husband and I to watch a certain television show that dealt with rape, specifically "date-rape". My husband and I got to talking afterwards because I was wondering if there is some ministry that I could do for other women who have been raped. A ministry of the Lord. My beloved husband very pointedly told me that I wasn't ready because I had never faced my past yet. I still blamed myself for what had happened to me. My husband very clearly assured me that none of it was my fault. NONE of it! and that I had to come to a realization and acceptance of that fact before I could help anyone else. That is when I decided to write this with the grace and help of the Lord.

"An Admission of Truth"

When I was seventeen years old, I was working at the place that my mom managed. She and I were the only ones that worked there and I usually closed the business by myself in the early evenings. When my parents went on vacation, I was left in charge. I think it was during that time that the city fire inspector came to do his inspection of the building where we were located. The young man came into our business to check our fire extinguishers and we got to talking. He was cute and very friendly. I was young and looking for a boyfriend. So, I decided to flirt a little with him. It didn’t take long for him to take the hint and he invited me out on a date that Friday after I got done with work. It didn’t take long for me to agree.

Those who know my past know that I had been sexually assaulted several times as a child and as a teen. I had been raised to believe that “love” between male and female, meant sexual favors. Even though I was now a Christian, I still didn’t understand how to behave with the opposite sex. I wanted it to be romance and friendship and being together. I truly did not want it to be just sexual pleasures for the man. But I didn’t know how to find that kind of true love and by that time in my life, I was just looking for a man to marry me, to cherish me, and to get me away from my parents.

Our date went fairly well, but right away I felt scared because he told me that he was not a Christian and didn’t care to hear about religion. He ordered wine with the dinner and I told him that not only was I too young to have alcohol, but that I didn’t like it at all. My grandfather and my favorite aunt had both died alcoholics. I couldn’t see any good that came from drinking it. He didn’t care about what I thought and basically called me a baby. I should have walked away right then and there, but he became my “challenge to convert” instead.

After dinner, he took me to a house that belonged to a friend of his. I thought the friend would be there and we would end up visiting with him. But no, that wasn’t why this guy wanted to get me there. He had sex on his mind. I was so foolish and decided that I would stay and we would just engage in a little kissing. I thought I was strong enough to stop him if he tried to go too far. He got a bit friskier than I had wanted, And I firmly told him to stop and he was "kind" enough to stop and take me home.

I don’t remember any more “real” dates other than him visiting at my house and me visiting at his apartment a couple of times. I kept trying to get him to come to church with me and he kept trying to get me to go to bed with him. He said that he would come to church if I first had sex with him. I refused and he told me that we could never go any further in our relationship unless he could “test-drive the car”. I was really offended by that, but also really stupid to keep him even as a friend.

The last time I went to visit him; I decided to go with my Bible marked with passages for him to read. I hoped that if I “accidentally” left it in the living room on the end table under my sweater, that he just might be enticed to pick up my Bible and read it. I was such a na├»ve fool. I was a young woman, a baby Christian, and one desperate girl who just wanted to be loved for who she was.

A few days later, this guy called and told me to come over and get my stinking Bible and sweater. It was a Wednesday night and I had just returned from prayer meeting at my church. I was so sad to hear him call my Bible stinking. I knew it meant that I had failed. I began to accept the fact that I could no longer have contact with this guy after I retrieved my items.

It was about 9:30pm when I showed up at his apartment. The man opened the door wearing a big, fluffy bathrobe and appeared to be getting ready to go to sleep. I was just going to get my items and get out with the knowledge that this relationship was over. He told me to come in and pick up the stuff myself because he didn’t even want to touch my Bible. (I should have known that the guy was a demon in the flesh who couldn't stand the Word of God!) I went into the living room and picked up my Bible from the same place where I had left it. He was angry that I had tried to get him to look at my Bible. It scared me and I could feel my heart beginning to beat faster. I looked around for my sweater, but it was nowhere to be seen. The guy told me that he had put it in his bedroom, but that I would have to go get it myself because he didn't want to even touch that. I did not want to go in there, but he would not let me leave. He was so convincing that he would not bring my sweater out and I had to go get it from his room. How I wish I had just left it there and gone home, but it was my favorite sweater.

The adrenaline was flowing from apprehension, but I reasoned that I had been pure in my motives and that I could get the sweater quickly enough that I would be safe from this guy. So, I tried to make light talk as I entered the bedroom. I had never been in there, let alone ever even looked in the room before. I had no idea where to find my sweater. When I finally saw it on the night stand (which was located on the far side of the tiny room), my heart began to beat really fast in fear. As my heart raced, my voice got higher and faster. I just tried to get him to realize that I cared about his soul and wanted him to accept Christ as his savior. He stood there mutely and angrily glaring at me.

I don’t know how fast it happened, but with my back to the guy, I reached for my sweater and from the corner of my eye I could see him drop his bathrobe to the floor. He was completely naked when he rushed up behind me, pushed me to the bed, and ripped off my panties. He was so strong and had my shoulders pinned to the bed with his arms and my legs pinned down with his. He then shoved his knee between my legs and fiercely told me to "let him in". I cried and screamed and begged him to stop. He said this was happening whether I liked it or not and he shoved his other knee between my legs. I began to scratch his back. I dug in my nails . I know I scratched him deep enough to draw blood and so did he. He then threatened to kill me and put his forearm across my throat and angrily told me to shut up and let him finish. I was so scared I obeyed and tears streamed down my face onto his pillow soaking it. I could not believe that I was being raped and losing my virginity in such a horrible way. I fully blamed myself for being so stupid.

When he was done, he told me to clean up. While I was in the bathroom he asked me if I had the venereal disease “crabs” because one of his friends thinks he got them from his toilet. I was so mad at him for what he had done and what he had said that by the time that I left the bathroom, I went to the front room and shoved him as hard as I could and ran out the front door. I ran all the way home crying my eyes out. It was late by the time I got home to my parent’s house, so I hid out in the basement “rec-room” for the rest of the night. I didn't want either of my parents to see me, let alone question me about my crying. I blamed myself for the rape, I never told anyone about it until I was married. I hated the man who did this to me and became very bitter about the whole thing. The hatred became so strong in my heart that I decided to hate all men and trust no one.

In 1990, the Lord got ahold of my heart and mind. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my sins of anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and hatred. I was finally able to understand me sinful part and to forgive those who had hurt me sexually. However, I still had a very hard time admitting that I wasn’t responsible for the rape. I believed that if I had never even flirted with this unsaved man or had never been alone with him or hadn't gone to his apartment or hadn't even let him touch me in the first place, then he wouldn't have raped me. It wasn’t until I was married that I could even admit that it was a rape. My precious husband has helped me to realize that I was victim of rape and that none of it was my fault…and this is a fact that I had not accepted until this very day, January 9, 2015.

I wrote this testimony after Jerry and I had watched a couple of television shows that had featured rape in them. It made me begin to think about the rape that had happened to me so long ago. I never got the counseling that I needed. Jerry still thinks that I might need some, but I don’t. I just really don’t want to rehash an incident that old. I am hoping that it has turned from trash into a treasure, from compost into mulch, from bad into good. I have forgiven the guy who did this to me and I don’t even remember his name. I just want to be able to use my rape to be a blessing to others who have gone through the same horribleness. If there is one absolute truth that I wish to share, it is that the one who did the rape is totally to blame for it and the one who was raped is not to blame in any way. Another truth I would share: God loves you so much and the terrible things that happen in this life are because man chooses to sin, and that God can give you absolute healing and victory over every trial. If you wish, please pray for me that I would be used of the Lord to be a blessing to others who have been raped especially to Christian women. Thank you!

Friday, October 31, 2014

By Alice Jensen

           After my mom died in April of this year, I went through most of her stuff. In one of the boxes, I found many articles that she had saved. Some were things that she had wrote, others were items that she found inspirational, and a few were interesting, and a couple were both funny and thought provoking. I chose not to keep very many of the articles. Those that I did keep were ones that made me think or laugh or both. And the following poem is one of them that made me do both. It is written in the style of “Footprints in the Sand”, but I do not know the author of this version.
“Butt Prints In The Sand”
One night I had a wondrous dream,

One set of footprints there were seen.

The footprints of my precious Lord,

But mine were not along the shore.

And I asked the Lord, “What have we here?

Those prints are large and round and neat,

But Lord, they are too big for my two feet.”

“My child,” He said in somber tones,

“For miles I carried you alone.

I challenged you to walk in faith,

But you refused and made me wait.

You disobeyed, you would not grow,

The walk of faith you would not know.

So, I got tired; I got fed up,

And there I dropped you on your butt.

Because in life, there comes a time,

When one must fight, and one must climb.

When one must rise and take a stand,

Or leave their butt prints in the sand.”

Friday, October 24, 2014

                              RESTITUTION GUIDELINES

Matthew 5:23-24; 6:12; 18:21     Acts 24:16    I Timothy 1:5, 19

1. RESTITUTION MUST ALWAYS BE A BLESSING: never a curse or burden. What God commands you to do will always end in a blessing. It should not be attempted until you are certain it will bless. Timing is so important. Don’t rush recklessly. We are to edify each other.

2. RESTITUTION RESULTS IN LOVE: It should cause more love for teach other than you had before. Full joy comes when restitution is proper and complete.

3. RESTITUTION IS A MATTER OF OBEDIENCE: Don’t sin by disobedience and expect God’s blessing. Restitution evidences to man that a transaction has already been made with God. Be committed to making restitution when needed, in God’s timing.

4. RESTITUTION SHOULD WAIT FOR GOD TO PREPARE THE WAY: He provides the circumstances to bring restitution about. In some situations there is no doubt or question about immediate action. In others, God needs to take the initiative. Begin by resting the case with God. Pray, “Lord, I am personally willing to make restitution and will allow you to take the initiative in preparing the way.” When He does, then you need to act accordingly. It is just as important that the Lord prepares the other party to receive you as it is you being willing to go to him. As you are prayerfully tuned to the Lord, He will make it clear. Sometimes the reception may not be to your liking, but when you move in God’s way, it will be the way He planned to bring about His results in His timing.

5. RESTITUTION PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO MINISTER: Often the other party is in need of a “bridge” on which to cross from his self-centeredness into positive obedience to God. Your example and making the move in his direction may free him to honestly face his own need in a way he has desired but has not been able to fulfill. In some cases merely your moving toward him “preaches” a powerful and convicting sermon to his soul, though that is not your motivation in going.

6. RESTITUTION IS ALWAYS UNILATERAL: always one-sided. Never look for the other person to take the blame or even share in the blame. Restitution is specifically a matter of settling my wrongness. It deals only with my blame, my wrongness, in a given matter and must never be related to the possibility that someone else was implicated in my wrong. It is dealing with the attitudes of my own heart that even allow the situation to remain.

By understanding my sole responsibility to make restitution, I may move straight to the issue, avoiding the snare of thinking that I must first establish a certain kind of delicate treaty with the other party. God’s work in another like is his business, though Satan will tempt me to share God’s responsibility. Therefore, leave the other party with god. Do your part. Be assured that if God asks you to do it, He will not only create the circumstances, but He will also provide the resources needed for you to carry it out.

7. RESTITUTION IS NEVER “IF”: It is never predicated by the statement, “If I have offended you,” or “If I have hurt you.” The “please forgive me if I have been an offense” type restitution will never settle anything or produce God’s results. If restitution deals with my blame, then it must be that I have offended, hurt, or allowed a bitterness to remain. It then should be, “Please forgive me. I am sorry and ask your forgiveness.”

8. RESTITUTION NEVER GUARANTEES OR PRECLUDES A “RIGHT” RESPONSED: At the point you ask for forgiveness, you are not responsible or guaranteed a positive “right” response. Commit that to God.

 9. RESTITUTION MUST ALWAYS BE AS BROAD AS THE OFFENSE BUT NEED NEVER BE ANY BROADER: Deal with God alone about private sins of the mind and body, These should never be included in restitution. When the other party knows nothing about it, deal only with God. Never say, “I have had some bad thoughts about you” or “I resented you” or “I have had lustful thoughts toward you and I want you to forgive me.” Go to the other party only when they clearly know about the situation because they were involved in it. If you have shared these thoughts or feelings with a third party, go to them and let them know you have made this situation right with God. Go no further under any circumstances. Some have created thoughts in the other party’s mind that were not there previously and created a further problem, resulting in continued bitterness and resentment. Private lustful thoughts expressed to the other party can generate the same thoughts in that person’s mind and precipitate a sinful immoral relationship. Be very careful.

Though private sins, some people feel strongly that they must say something to the person even though it is not necessary and he know nothing about it. If you are strongly compelled that this is necessary, always be positive, speak in love, edify, and make tangible expressions that confirm your love. Never say, “I am sorry for resenting you, please forgive me.” Say something like this, “I just want you to know that God has put so much love in my heart for you that I have never loved you more than I do right now. There have been times I should have loved you more, but I thank God for giving me so much love for you now.” Follow with tangible acts that confirm your love for him, build him up, and bless his life in Christ.

Personal sins affecting you and another person must be dealt with at that level alone.

Public sins affecting a large group or an entire church need to be made right on whatever level of people it affects. Always be as broad as the offense but not any broader!

10.  RESTITUTION IS FOR THE GLORY OF GOD: In giving public testimony, restitution brings glory to God only when it exalts what Christ has done rather than magnifying the situation itself. In the light of everything else discussed, personal testimony can be given. It then is not a matter of “hanging out dirty linen in public”, but rather an expression of the praise to God’s glory in deliverance. Others then rejoice by your testimony in that God has performed a “miracle” rather than in your elaboration all the details. Only when the glory goes to Jesus will people be blessed and the church edified.


1. On matters of personal morality (immorality), be sure to consult your pastor or spiritual advisor before acting in andy direction.

2. Never pressure a person to respond. If he is unwilling to forgive, ask him to contact you when he is ready.

3. If the sin occurred before salvation, deal with everything the Holy Spirit reveals.

4. Aside from matters of personal morality (immorality), the general rule is to deal person-to-person. If impossible, telephone. Letters, emails, etc. should be the last resort.

5. If you have any questions at all about the what, when, why, how, or even if restitution should be made, consult your pastor or spiritual advisor. Don’t with when it is too late you had gotten the right advice. You cannot always recover the damage.

This has been copied from the flier put out in 1990 by the Canadian Revival Fellowship.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

By Alice Jensen
August 19, 2014 

            “Zombie Survival Summer Camp” is being offered in Canada. It teaches you how to survive a zombie attack. You will learn how to use many common items to fight off a zombie. Items such as pitchforks, rakes, bats, kitchen knives. Honest, I just heard about this camp this morning as I was listening to the news. At first I thought this was a stupid idea and couldn’t believe that people would pay good money to go to such a strange summer camp. Why would someone really need to learn about how to survive a zombie attack?
            While I listened to the newscast, I began to think about the current fascination with zombies. And I have to admit, one of my favorite computer games is “Plants vs Zombies”. It is fun to strategize and plan how to best kill the most zombies possible. The animated zombies are “cute”, but I do not care at all for the “real” zombies. You can pretty much find something related to zombies any day of the week. So, how would you survive a zombie attack and would you ever really need too?
            That question stuck in my brain (get it? brain!) and I remembered something in the book of Revelation that might be like a zombie attack. The Holy Spirit answered my question about would a person ever need to survive zombies. The answer is “YES”, if you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and if you are still alive when the Great Tribulation takes place (rest assured, you will definitely know when it occurs. All the horrible things that you think are going on right now??? They don’t compare to how horrible it is going to be during the Great Tribulation!).
            Take a look at Revelation 9:1-12 (I dare you!). I don’t know about you, but if no one is able to die for five months (that’s what it says in verses 5-6), it looks like there will be “zombies” for real. Zombie = the undead. Verse six says very clearly that there will be people who shall seek death and shall not find it. No, they won’t be looking for actual brains to eat, but they may come looking for someone to help put them out of their torment and it might seem like they are after your brain. Just imagine how gross it will be…someone will try to kill themselves and just won’t be able to do so. I would not want to be around for that!
            So, it is a fact that someday there will be real “zombies” here on planet earth. So, you may need to survive an attack by them. So, what is the best way to fight them off? Well, for now, the best way to prepare yourself is to just believe and receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour (take a look at Romans 10:9.) That way, you won’t even be here on earth when the zombie invasion takes place. But if you are dumb enough to not accept the gift of eternal life from the Lord Jesus Christ, and you wind up getting left behind when all of us believers are taken to Heaven before the Great Tribulation takes place here on earth, the best way to fight off the zombies is to still receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour, do not ever take any kind of identification mark in your body, and obey the Word of God. (Sorry, but you would have to be “brainless” to not just pray and ask Jesus to be your Saviour right here and right now!)
            Oh, and for those of you, who are really empty-headed, and refuse to believe that Jesus is God the Son and that He shed His blood and died for you, well….the Bible says that when you die (if you happen to die before the “zombie invasion”), you get to go to hell where you will be tormented forever by not only “zombies”, but also by Satan and his wicked forces (Take a look at Revelation 15:9-11 and 20:10-15), and in the very end, you get tossed into the Lake Fire. So, don’t you think that it would just be a great idea to pray right now and receive Jesus as your Saviour?!
            If you do have a brain in that head of yours and you know how to use it and would like to pray to be saved, why don’t you pray something like this: Jesus, the Bible says that you love me. It also says that you are God the Son. I am choosing to believe. The Bible says that I am a sinner and that I can never be good enough to go to Heaven, but that you shed your blood and gave up your earthly life when you died on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of all humanity. I am also choosing to believe that you are the Saviour and right now I am praying to receive you into my life. Thank you Jesus for taking away all of my sins and for setting me free from all evil. Thank you for saving me and making the way so that I can go to Heaven when I die. Thank you that I no longer have to fear any zombies because I will always be with you and you will always be with me (Hebrews 13:6). In Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

THE SIN OF GETTING OFFENDED                                                    July 26, 2014
                                                                                                              By Alice Jensen 

(The name of my best friend has been changed…and you don’t need to try to figure out who she is. What you need to do is to read the whole post and pray.)     

She knew that my daughter’s fifth birthday was coming in just a couple of weeks. After all, CeeCee was one of my best friends. Every week she and her girls went with us to a parenting class, we went to church together three times a week, and we were often at her house. So, how could she not expect that I would want her to bring her video-camera and record my daughter’s birthday? She had to know that I would want her and her girls to be there and that I would want her to record the whole party. She was the one who owned a video camera. She knew that my daughter would probably be the only child that I would ever have and that her fifth birthday would be a really big deal to me. I thought that best friends just knew to do those kinds of things for each other. How could she even suggest that she might not come? I needed her to help me with the party as well as bring her video camera. I was expecting a bunch of little kids and knew that I couldn’t handle them on my own. Sure, my husband would be there. But he wouldn’t be much help. It would be better if just did the video recording and we two moms would handle the games, the food, the children, and the presents. But no, she told me, she didn’t think that she was going to come to the party.

            We were together in the nursery at our church when she informed me that wouldn’t be coming to my daughter’s party. I looked at her dumb-founded. I started to cry and to accuse her of being selfish. She told me that I shouldn’t have put expectations on her without asking first. My anger began to boil and I had to get it under control or I knew I would not be able to put her on a guilt trip. After begging CeeCee, she finally agreed to be there with her girls and the video camera.

            For the next two weeks, I internally fumed over this whole situation. CeeCee had greatly offended me and I reasoned that I had a right to be angry because best friends just don’t do mean things to each other. Of course, I didn’t think that I had done anything offensive towards CeeCee. Nor did I believe that it was my responsibility to make things right between us or even between myself and God. I felt like I was the one who had been wronged and deserved to be angry and hurt.

            CeeCee did bring her girls and come to the birthday party, but forever after our friendship was never the same. No longer was she one of my best friends. There was a block of ice between us that never thawed. We didn’t drop in on them like we used to, our girls didn’t play together, and the parenting class was over. I thought it was all CeeCee’s fault for not being the good friend that I expected her to be. She was the one who had hurt me to the very core of my being when she said that she didn’t want to go to my daughter’s party. And I allowed that pain to turn to anger, and that anger to bitterness.       Yes, CeeCee had hurt me, but I was the one to blame for how I responded to that pain. Yes, I may have had a “right” to get angry. But did that make it right in the eyes of God? No! God says, “Be ye angry and sin not…” Ephesians 4:26. Had I sinned when I got angry? You bet I did. I allowed myself to become bitter and wasn’t willing to forgive my friend. Colossians 3:13, “Forbearing one another (to put up with their weaknesses), and forgiving one another (oh me!), if any man (or woman) have a quarrel against any (we almost had a full-blown quarrel): even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

            It wasn’t until many years later that I realized my own sin and the damage that I had caused. By that time CeeCee had moved away and we were friends no longer. To this day, I haven’t had any more contact with her. I wish that I could because I would like to be able to apologize and to ask for her forgiveness. The Lord convicted me my sin when I began to pray for Him to show me all of the sins in my life. I no longer wanted to live with bitterness and anger and pain and deep depression. God showed me Psalms 37 and told me to study it and memorize it verse by verse. Over and over the Lord convicted me of my own sinfulness and that I had absolutely no rights, but that instead, I had responsibilities. I was responsible to obey His Word and when I got to verse eight of Psalms 37, I realized my responsibility for my sin of anger. “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” I don’t think that God could have made it any clearer to me. I was guilty of the sin of anger, wrath, evil thinking, wanting to get restitution, and just plain old self-centeredness. I was guilty of even thinking that I had a right to get offended. II Corinthians 6:3, “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:” Not only had I gotten offended, but I wound up offending CeeCee and driving her away from our friendship.

            So, what is the truth and blessing of this story? My hope and prayer is that God uses this to speak to all of our hearts and to allow the Holy Spirit to show us if we have sinned either in getting offended at someone or of offending another person. I also hope that we will stop claiming our “rights” to feel a certain way like angry or bitter when someone does or doesn’t do what we expect them to do. And I hope that we will pray and open up ourselves honestly to the Lord so that He can show us our own sins, leave the sins of others with God, and allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins and to be honest about them. I John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Oh what a better person, what a stronger church, what a shining example we can be if we would only yield ourselves fully to the One who bought us with His precious blood. The truth is: I would still be a bitter, angry, and wretched woman if I hadn’t been honest and confessed my sins one by one as the Holy Spirit convicted me of them. The blessing is: you too can be set free from the bondage of the sin of bitterness, anger, and of being easily offended (yes, I know there are many of you out there, and I pray for you often), if you too will be honest and confess your sins when the Holy Ghost convicts you of them. Will you pray this prayer with me? It is one that I had to pray for many, many weeks before I truly meant what I was saying. I hope that you will pray this prayer honestly and truly to the Lord right now, “Father God, my Lord Jesus Christ, will you please fill me with the Holy Spirit who will search my heart and know my thoughts and convict me of any sin that I have committed against you or against another? Forgive me as I confess this sin (name whatever sin it is that the Holy Spirit has brought to your mind). I claim the promise of your Holy Word that states that you have forgiven me and cleansed me of all unrighteousness. Thank you Jesus for shedding Your blood to pay for my every sin. I yield full control over (whatever that sin was) and pray that You will empower me to do Your will instead. I thank You and Praise You in the name of my Saviour Jesus Christ.” If you have prayed that prayer and need to make things right with someone else, you need to do so as soon as God allows and enables you to do so. Don’t wait until you feel like it! You may not get the chance if you do wait…just like I never got the opportunity to apologize to CeeCee.

(Next time I blog, I will write about how to make appropriate restitution.)